Fenway Sports Group reaches deal for ‘controlling interest’ in Penguins

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The sale of the Pittsburgh Penguins took a big step forward on Monday with Fenway Sports Group agreeing to purchase a “controlling interest” in the team.

According to the Penguins, the deal should be final by the end of the year and still needs to be approved by the NHL’s Board of Governors. TSN’s Pierre LeBrun reports the sale price is around $900 million. (The Seattle Kraken’s franchise fee to the NHL was $650 million.)

News of FSG’s interest in purchasing the franchise came out earlier this month.

Fenway Sports Group, which is led by John Henry and Tom Werner, also own Major League Baseball’s Boston Red Sox and Liverpool FC of the English Premier League, among other sports properties.

No management changes

Once the sale is approved, franchise legend Mario Lemieux and co-owner Ron Burkle will remain part of the ownership group. Members of the team’s senior management, like CEO David Morehouse, President of Hockey Operations Brian Burke, general manager Ron Hextall, and head coach Mike Sullivan will remain in place.

“As the Penguins enter a new chapter, I will continue to be as active and engaged with the team as I always have been and look forward to continuing to build on our success with our incoming partners at FSG,” Lemieux said in a statement. “They have an organizational philosophy that mirrors the approach that worked so well for Ron and me over the past 22 years.”

“Mario and I came in together, and we are excited to become a part of the new ownership group,” said Burkle. The Pittsburgh Penguins will be in good hands with FSG, and Mario and I are here to support them, committed as much as we’ve always been to the success of the franchise.”

The Penguins have been owned by Lemieux and Burkle since 1999. During their 22 years in charge the franchise has built a new arena, which has featured a sell-out streak of over 600 consecutive games, and won three Stanley Cups.

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Sean Leahy is a writer for Pro Hockey Talk on NBC Sports. Drop him a line at phtblog@nbcsports.com or follow him on Twitter @Sean_Leahy.